Most folks will look at an ingredient label and immediately gravitate over to the “Fats, Carbs & Protein” categories to compare. While that is a great start, those numbers only tell a small portion of the story.
For those of you wanting to level up your nutrition sophistication, I’ll share what ELSE to look for and WHY.
Most folks don’t realize that as a society, we are more deficient in fiber and nutrients than we are in protein. Which makes it super ironic we are all in search of more protein sources in foods, shakes and bars. When in reality, we desperately need more fiber and nutrients per calorie.
Do you know how much protein you need each day? The average for a sedentary man is 56g and for the average sedentary woman…..46 grams per day. The more active you are, the more you should consume, but I’m guessing the majority of us are just fine with our daily protein consumption.
Also, protein isn’t just found in animals. Many plants, nuts, and legumes contain protein. In some cases, even more than animal products. Plant based proteins are beneficial because they contain more vitamins, minerals and fiber than animal protein. Calorie for calorie, plant based protein packs way more of a protein power punch in its nutrition profile.
Where companies cheat with protein…is with processed SOY. Not only is processed soy very similar to its GMO-franken-food cousin corn, processed soy is also very, very cheap for food companies to manufacture, which increases their profit margin.
Nutritionally, processed soy, also known as soy protein isolate, has none of the carbs, fat or fiber that makes natural soy so healthy. What it does have is a high concentration of isoflavones, which can increase human estrogen levels. The studies go back and forth on the saftey of soy. The concern is that the increased estrogen levels may increase/exacerbate breast cancer, thyroid problems, and dementia. Because soy is so cheap to manufacture in food, like corn, it is found in many sources of food you may not even realize. Personally, I prefer to choose companies and products that avoid processed soy and choose a cleaner plant protein source.
CARBS/ FIBER 101:
Not all carbs are created equal.
In fact, we need FIBER carbs! The minimum ratio is for every 10 carbs there should be at least 1 gram of Fiber on the label. The more fiber/ carb, the better!
The average man requires a minimum of 35 grams, and woman, 25 grams of fiber per day. On average, we consume 5-6/ day. Personally, I shoot for 50-60 grams of fiber per day.
Why the fuss with fiber?
One, fiber is an appetite suppressant.
Two, it keeps your bowels moving.
Three, its acts as a “scrub brush” cleaning out the processed trash that gets lodged in our GI tract.
Four, nutritionally, high amounts of daily fiber has been shown to reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Many fibers, are packed with nutrients/minerals and vitamins as well as….PROTEIN.
If you have ever done a low carb diet before, you have heard “Deduct the fiber from the total carbs for your net carbs”. Fiber isn’t digested. It goes THROUGH you, not IN you. So the carbs from fiber don’t get absorbed.
Bottom line when it comes to carbs, the more fiber…the better, baby! The higher the ratio, the stronger the product!
Like carbs, fats and proteins, not all salts are created equal either. Himalayan salt’s unique process of crystalization aides in the elcotrolites opening the cell walls to aide in you absorbing minerals. Unlike cheap iodized table salts, Himalayan salts have a list of health benefits.
So back to the “protein bar” comparison. There is much more nutritional quality & balance in the Beach bars. The fiber/ carb ratio, the protien source and the salt source, specifically.
Are they more expensive? Well…yes. They weren’t designed to be cheap. They were designed for the nutitional geeks that know how to read beyond the basics & happily pay for that sophisticated quality.
Consuming a snack like this is ideal, because like any of the best quality foods, you ideally want to get the most nutrition per packed calorie, possible. The beach bars make it super simple and ridiculiusly delicious.
There are many choices of bars on the market. I hope after reading this that you too are more savvy in reading beyond all the labels in making the best choice for you, without being duped by what these companies are hoping, you don’t know!
Cheers to great health & sustained vitality!
Certified Holistic health Coach, IIN